The use of the * Asterisk Placeholder in finding the right Collocation
It’s time to start our #GooglingForTranslators English Series!
This series offers valuable hacks for translators to increase their ‘Feeling Lucky‘ translation results while boosting their googling skills (linguistically-wise).
A) The * Asterisk Operator: Helpful in “finding the right collocation” (For the Arabic Version of this Article Click here).
The * is used ‘to fill in the blank in search phrases’
– A Collocation is ‘the company that words keep’ (Related! Right?)
e.g. 1: – Write on google “* Accident” or “Accident *”
– Results in bold: Compulsory accident
– Report an accident
– Concerned in the accident etc.
PS: After updating the Google algorithms, it is better to use the * sign inside a long-quoted sentence/ phrase to receive better results.
Also, remember that you can use more than one * sign in a single search attempt but add a white-space after each of them.
Every * represents just one or more words as Google treats it as a placeholder for a word or more.
e.g. 2: – Write on google “* with the law”
– Results in bold: comply with the law
– in accordance with the law
– The court agreed with the law
– in conflict with the law …etc.
The * helps us also in finding the right proverbs, quotes & idioms + any Biblical and/or Quranic verses.
Even in finding headline variants for our marketing purposes; the * can be an asset to get a bunch of rewarding results.
e.g. 3: – Write on google “Helping you * * *” and the results in bold will be rewarding!!
Want more? Please stay tuned!
Entrepreneurial Arabic Linguist (LL.B.) (B.A.)
Born in Egypt, Shaimaa was raised in Qatar until she was 11 when she returned to Egypt. She lives and breathes MSA Arabic as well as Gulf & Egyptian dialects/cultures. She localizes and translates from English to Arabic and specializes in legal, UN, and EU affairs, as well as general and documentary translations since 2006. She studied legal translation at the American University in Cairo and is the founder and owner of Transarabizers.